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Deadline reports that FX have passed on Charlie's comedy, How and Why. The pilot's being shopped to other outlets.
While FX brass are fans of Kaufman and liked the finished product, which came in at close to an hour, I hear they felt the show, with its very unusual mix of comedy and drama, would not mesh well with the rest of the lineup. (Source)
Just repeating: poo.
Do you know how many people come here looking for analyses of Synecdoche, New York?
LOTS, is how many.
This one is for you folks. Jordan Siron points us to his "Exploring Charlie Kaufman’s “Synecdoche, New York”: A Philosophical Analysis." It's a meaty read.
Synecdoche, New York is a film that concerns itself with examining solipsism, and in disposing of the harmful concept of “The Other”. Solipsism is the belief that only one’s own mind is certain to exist; that one’s perception of reality and events is the only certainty, the only truth. As a philosophy, it is akin to Objectivism — the belief that the pursuit of one’s own self interest is the only moral obligation to which any human is bound.
Solipsism is a gross philosophy. It does not leave room for the understanding or concern of others. It is diametrically opposed to Altruism, which — while impractical to some extent — at least gives us something worthy to strive for. While one can argue against the practicality of Altruism, it’s hard to rationalize Objectivism and Solipsism as being inherently healthy life philosophies. While they may serve the individual, they do not foster the wellbeing of the human community writ large.
Now, all of that isn’t to say that individuals who prescribe to philosophies that place themselves at the center of their own universe are inherently bad. One can argue that such philosophies drive individuals towards great personal success, and through that success said individuals can turn around and provide aid of which they might not have otherwise been capable. There is a certain benefit to being concerned with one’s own self, but this dissection is not concerned with those few individuals who put their own universes in check before extending their helping hand. So it follows that Synecdoche, New York does not concern itself with such.
The film examines solipsism at its worst, demonstrating the dangers of such a philosophy through its chosen vehicle: Caden Cotard. (Source)
I've been meaning to link to this for aaaaages. I am a horrible website editor person.
2 Movies A Week is a new blog from Sean Phillips. Each week he'll be reviewing a pair of films that folks might've missed, and Synecdoche, New York is one of the first on the site, alongside Life Itself.
I decided to pair these two in my original post because there is a (small) connection between the two.
The first, "Life Itself" (2014) is a brand-spanking-new documentary about the life of the most famous film reviewer who ever lived, Roger Ebert.
The second, "Synecdoche, New York" (2008) is, in this writers opinion, the most ambitionus fictional narrative ever made. It was written and directed by Charlie Kaufman, the Oscar winner for 'Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind' for best original screenplay in 2004. His other credits include writing 'Being John Malcovich'(1999) and 'Adaptation.'(2002) Kaufman was also nominated for best original screenplay again for the latter. Nicholas Cage stared in that film and gave performances worth two Nick Cages. (Source)
Lost in Translation and Summer Hours are the next two to be reviewed.
This one, via Gizmodo, goes out to Adele Lack:
Even a perfectly smooth human hair looks like a scaly, alien creature under a microscope. Zoom in on this particular hair, though, and you'll find something even stranger: a teeny, tiny comic strip called "Juanita Knits the Planet."
Ten micron-tall Juanita and her friends were etched onto the hair using a focused ion beam. The microscopic comic strip was created for the Exceptional Hardware Software Meeting, a gathering for open source and DIY enthusiasts in Germany. (Source)
Check out the short video below--and you'll find the comic strip, without the hair, at the link above.
A few days ago, an email update went out to Anomalisa's Kickstarter backers, bringing news that production is around 70% complete and will no longer be a 40-minute short as originally intended:
The original kickstarter campaign for Anomalisa was for a 40 minute short. The success of our campaign provided us the opportunity to secure additional funding and expand the project into a full-length feature. This has allowed us to preserve the original scope of Charlie’s script, without compromise or outside influence.
Production is now 70% complete and when finished, Anomalisa will come in at around 80 minutes in length. (Source)
Thanks to Dan!
Synecdoche, New York is finally landing on Italian shores! I had no idea Italy was still waiting for it to arrive.
I think it interests only to Italian fans, but finally June 19, 2014 (after almost 6 years) Synecdoche, New York will be distributed in Italy. The press release says that there has been a long legal battle that prevented the distribution in Italy. This is our poster:
New addition to the How and Why cast! Deadline reports:
Marcella Plunkett (Dark Touch) has been booked as a recurring on FX‘s How And Why, from Oscar-winning screenwriter Charlie Kaufman[...]
We hear Plunkett is playing two roles, Cynthia, a photographer at Goodman’s new TV station in Murfreesboro, and Magda, Mendelson’s (Michael Cera) secretary, whose day is spent in a cramped, tiny room, not much bigger than her desk. (Source)
A bit 7-and-a-half-floory, yeah? And warehouse-within-a-warehousey, yeah? I like it.
Totally unrelated to Charlie, and a bit sneaky of me, but screw it: I have a short story in the current issue of Aurealis -- Australia's longest-serving scifi/fantasy magazine -- and you can grab an e-copy for the super low sum of $2.99, if you're interested in what I get up to when I'm not stalking Charlie. (No print edition, alas. Just .mobi, .epub, .pdf, .lrf, .pdb, .rtf and .txt -- all included in the three bucks.)
(For newcomers to BCK, I should repeat that I'm not Charlie Kaufman, I'm just the guy who runs this site. Charlie does not have a short story in Aurealis.)
"It Came From A Party Supplies Store" is a comedy about a man who tries to prank his grandkid's friends, by dressing up as an alien and scaring them on a creepy forested road at night... but the man gets stuck inside the alien costume, and hijinks ensue. It's about 1500 words and not Kaufmanesque in any major way. ("One of those rarities—an SF story that aims to be funny, and actually is funny," says the editor.)
It would both amuse and please me greatly if this became their biggest selling issue of all time and critics vomited over it with joy and I won a Nobel and became rich and had to take out restraining orders on most of the female population.
So, you know. Link is there and also here if you're interested and feel like supportin' the arts.
The rtf file has my title written in reverse on the contents page. I'm scared to read the actual story, in case of proofreading boo boos.
Video: Interpreting "Synecdoche, New York"--passage of time, loneliness, relationships... all that fun stuff.
BCK's logs tell me that a lot of people come here looking for interpretations of Synecdoche, New York. These two videos are for you--David Chen from Slashfilm and Amy Nicholson from L.A. Weekly take a look at the film and what it all might mean. Each video goes for around 13 minutes; the first one's here, the second one's behind the cut.
It's more than a little poignant, given the loss of Hoffman.
Thanks to Thomas for the heads up!
We disappeared for a while.
There was a flaw with BCK's security, and it needed to be addressed. The best solution was to take the whole site down for a bit, give it a long overdue facelift and update all of the stuff that's under the hood.
And now that's done, and we're back online. New colour scheme! Spiffy, no? Hopefully BCK's disappearance didn't inconvenience you in a big way--you can find us on FB and Twitter, too, you know--but I apologise if it did.
As far as I can tell, the site's working as it should, but a glitch or two might show up somewhere--glitches usually do, right after a big re-design. If anything explodes in your face, please let me know and I'll try to fix it.
I've replaced the old commenting system with Disqus. Disqus is easier to administrate than the system we'd been using, and since BCK doesn't get a lot of comments, I prefer a commenting system that's fairly low maintenance.
One other thing: once upon a time, you could create your own user account here, and use it for commenting and whatnot, but it was getting cloggy with spam accounts, and it didn't seem like a super useful feature anyway, so I've turned that off for now. Hopefully this is no big deal for any of you.
If you haven't checked out the Facebook or Twitter pages, there are a couple of news updates you might've missed: Sally Hawkins and Catherine Keener have joined How and Why, and here are a bunch of cool Eternal Sunshine one sheets to celebrate the film's 10th(!!) anniversary.
And now I'm gonna have a nap.
Questions or comments? Let me know.